U.S. Doubles Aid to Syrian Opposition

    Syrian rebels gather around a T-72 tank, captured from government forces two months ago, in the village of Kfarruma in the flashpoint Syrian province of Idlib near the border with Turkey, on February 10, 2013. The rebels control large swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria but have made little headway in major Syrian cities, where military stalemates have persisted for months. AFP PHOTO/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS        (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

    The U.S. plans to double its aid to the Syrian opposition, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday at an Istanbul meeting of 10 European and Middle Eastern countries. Kerry pledged $123 million in new funding for the fight against Assad—making clear that a portion of the aid will go to "nonlethal" supplies. He urged participants to offer a combined total of $1 billion in aid. But although an official channel for funding all future military assistance was established, total pledges fell short of the Syrian opposition's requests, which include airstrikes to stop the Syrian government from firing Scud missiles. The brutal two-year civil war in Syria has killed more than 70,000 people.

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